MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

... And the worst part of it all? -

I'm having great success with computers right now. Witness:

I was rebooting into Windows to do a bit more on MINERVA, and noticed that the Boot Camp OS selection thingy looked a bit ... broken. Strange colour gradients, and all that. Windows itself looked equally weird - and pretty much unusable.

Thinking it was just the graphics card getting a bit squiffy, I rebooted back into Mac OS X. Same problems. Oh ... crap. No amount of rebooting, switching off then back on, leaving with battery out or whatever has helped.

And yes, the worst part of it all?

I suspect I'm going to go round to the nearby Apple Store in a few minutes and buy myself a whole new MacBook Pro, while putting the old one in for a many-week repair. Mr. Steve Jobs' reality distortion field must have a particularly tight grip on me.

They're good computers, honest! Join us!!!!!

You should see what the pictures-of-broken-display look like on the broken display in question. 'Psychedelic' is an understatement...

Edit 2007-08-16: Found a vaguely similar problem described on the Apple support website, and the described solution of resetting the PRAM and NVRAM fixed everything for me too. So, suffering from psychedelic colours on a MacBook Pro? ZAP THE PRAM!!!

Article Comments (now closed)

Au-heppa's gravatar

1. gasp

Posted by Au-heppa at 5:38PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

geesh, Adam

pox's gravatar

2. crap...

Posted by pox at 6:03PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

Fellow acolytes, Fortuna has spun us downward once again!


Best of luck with your laptop adam, I sincerely hope that works out in the most inexpensive way possible.

oh, and don't worry bout that whole 'bating the acolytes conversation over episodes 3 and 4', we got you covered on that front. : D

Cargo Cult's gravatar

3. ... it gets (slightly) worse

Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:15PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

The Apple Store was closed.

Thinking that was slightly strange, I went on to the supermarket - which was closed also.

At this point, I began to realise that I'd spent the day working from home on a Belgian public holiday. No *wonder* everyone was so quiet...

The (vaguely) good news is that if I monkey with the accessibility settings and contrast enhancement in Mac OS X, text becomes completely readable. So I'm going to spend the next couple of days working on MINERVA's plot - the ultra-high-tech titles.txt doesn't need much in the way of computing power, after all... ;-)

(Oh, and the zillions of plot-dissecting comments have been fascinating reading. Sometimes I cheer, sometimes I groan, but you've all successfully deciphered the whole back-story - but it's mixed up with stuff that's wrong, awfully wrong, or perhaps better than the real plot. I *promise* not to steal anything - locworks can tell you if I ever deviate from the intended plan...)

I have one bottle of beer. I think I'll savour it.

Holy Socks's gravatar

4. Divine power

Posted by Holy Socks at 6:17PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

Its almost like some divine entity is determined to prevent the release of the third chapter, Adam you should ensure your house/computer is protected against locust swams.. you know, just to be on the safe side.

Anyway good luck on getting it repaired, and on releasing the mod.

Terrapin's gravatar

5. Karma

Posted by Terrapin at 6:38PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

I've never been superstitious or anything like that, but we can only hope that this means better things for the future.

Sorry to hear that the Apple Empire's got you down, Adam - here's hoping for a better tommorrow.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

6. Yikes

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:03PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

This just keeps getting better and better. I only hope *my* laptop doesn't die before I can get a new one ...

Moholinth's gravatar

7. Developers dream.

Posted by Moholinth at 7:06PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

It must be a developers dream to have the whole community trying to work out the story and instead of finding the 7ruth, they come up with some fantastic stories.

Less work for the lazy developer i say. :)

U-Mu-La-Mah-Ri's gravatar

8. Apple=Craple

Posted by U-Mu-La-Mah-Ri at 7:12PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

Apple....HA! I have a 3 year old HP Pavillion ZD8000 with no internal fans, cracked casing and a busted keyboard (I have to use a USB one) It still runs great no problems besides over heating if I turn my floor fan off. But the best part has to be how jerry rigged it is, The RAM, and Video Card are acctualy outside the laptop atached with conductive foil. Im still waiting for the fire

Anschluss's gravatar

9. Better

Posted by Anschluss at 7:20PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

That's why you buy a PC with Windows. Apple computers may not freeze, but they do lock up.

Ace's gravatar

10. that it?

Posted by Ace at 8:00PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

Shall we take the new thread and the comments as a cease-and-desist order on the rampant theorizing? No more hints, or suggestions as to what may be correct, what's promising? Cryptic meanings? Well alright then. (Though with all the theories we've probably successfully guessed the backstories to Minerva, Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz and Fletch Lives.) Anyway, good luck with the computer!

FinalWarning's gravatar

11. Computers are wonderful creatures!

Posted by FinalWarning at 11:55PM, Wednesday August 15 2007

Adam, you can add me to the list of those who lament your latest computer problems. Sometimes they can be like women- you can hardly live with them but it sure is hard to live without them. ( WOW- what a sexist statement! Women say the same thing about us though.) This is the reason that I build my own. You get what you really want and become your own tech support system.

Ace's gravatar

12. Should I be the first to point this out?

Posted by Ace at 12:12AM, Thursday August 16 2007

FinalWarning, you may want to re-read your post.

Baffled's gravatar

13. Build your own woman

Posted by Baffled at 12:33AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Get what you really want and become your own tech support!

Terrapin's gravatar

14. The end of theories

Posted by Terrapin at 12:34AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Quoth Adam, regarding our plot analysis: "Sometimes I cheer, sometimes I groan, but you've all successfully deciphered the whole back-story - but it's mixed up with stuff that's wrong, awfully wrong, or perhaps better than the real plot."

Well, it looks like we may as well follow Ace's proposal and halt all future plot analysis - we got it right, albeit with the problem of the incorrect theories stuck in there somewhere. Regardless of what is ultimately right or wrong, give yourselves a round of applause, acolytes; so far as I can see, we've earned it.

On the subject of Apple computers, I've been considering switching for a while and using Boot Camp w/ WinXP for games - I'm stuck with Vista for now, and... wow, it's just horrible.

Anyway, like I said, here's to a speedy recovery for everything.

Baffled's gravatar

15. You can lead a Horticulture, but you can't make her think

Posted by Baffled at 12:40AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Well the Acolytes have grown a host of theories in their mental garden over the last week, but it seems our garden is in need of a prune!

Man the secateurs and excise the non-sequiturs!

( I'm determined to push this horticultural analogy as far as it'll go ;-) )

Adam didn't say which theory is correct, nor did he confirm that any of the individual theories contained all the correct pieces of the puzzle! They might be distrubuted among more than one of our efforts.

So we must engage in a spot of Topiary!

Mind you, we could get out of shape with that as well, and end up with a white elephant:


Terrapin's gravatar

16. Extened metaphors aside...

Posted by Terrapin at 12:53AM, Thursday August 16 2007

As much as I hate to be pessimistic, I honestly can't see any way to concretely prove a theory absolutely false. The four or five theories we'd developed were each had their own little following of supporters and detractors, and heaps of compelling evidence. Unfortunately, at this point, we simply do not have enough hard facts to cut any one piece of a theory out of the picture - unless Adam would care to provide some little snippet of the new and improved titles.txt, we are at the ne plus ultra of speculation.

We got the backstory figured out, and that's something to be proud of, even if it isn't as clear or linear as I'd originally thought it would be. Unless, of course, someone else found some damning evidence I missed.

Baffled's gravatar

17. Mummy's still missing

Posted by Baffled at 1:08AM, Thursday August 16 2007

*switches to an Egyptological metaphor*

Declaring that "We got the backstory figured out" is akin to Howard Carter announcing to the world that Tutankhamun's tomb is in Egypt!

He'd have been lynched ;-) .

Our theories were an attempt to cover all the logical possibilities, and to have Adam confirm that the backstory is indeed contained in that Universal set of possibilities is in no way to reveal the actual story.

We still have no real clue as to what is going on!

You are therefore not allowed to pretend that you have succeeded. What you are allowed to do is to declare that we are in need of further clues/data in the form of the much overdue, and greatly yearned for, Metastasis Finale ;-) .

@Adam:Has the release-candidate been derailed by the rotten Apple?

Ace's gravatar

18. Horiculture! ha ha hah aha Topiary!

Posted by Ace at 1:23AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Baffled, have you been sitting on that picture for weeks, waiting for a chance to use it? Topiary! Haa ha, I had to look that one up but it was so worth it. That was damn near the funniest thing I've seen this week. It almost pushed that "build your own woman" bit off the top perch. (sorry FinalWarning, no offense, these things happen, but that was funny as shit.) Secateurs! Again, had to look it up, but worth it. And you're precisely right, we haven't really learned anything. But just to be safe I'll confine my harebrained thoughts to the other thread for the time being. (I've got one last one ready to go.)

kast's gravatar

19. Coincidence?! Maybe...

Posted by kast at 2:05AM, Thursday August 16 2007

HolySocks said "Its almost like some divine entity is determined to prevent the release of the third chapter," but I'm thinking a little closer to home. The ghost in Adam's machine seems to bear a distinctly similar MO to our own dear deity, Minerva.

This a warning that we should not meddle with things best left to the gods of gaming! Let us leave this box of evils tightly shut lest we bring such terrors upon the world that even hope shall not remain!

@Baffled - Genius metaphors! Pure genius!

Terrapin's gravatar

20. Where to go next?

Posted by Terrapin at 2:23AM, Thursday August 16 2007

So, Baffled, if you insist that' there's more we can do, perhaps you'd like to state how you propose we eliminate four out of five well-reasoned theories without eliminating the fifth by the same method. Then of course we have to sort through what's left, compile a single unified theory, and wait for some confirmation that we're right. At that point, we'd know Minerva's origins, with the identity of bastard Perseus (although I'm quite confident that I already figured that one out, as Adam's statement supports), and the purpose of the island still unknown - this latter mystery doesn't even have any real evidence to clue us in, besides the fact that it's big, secret, and needs a crapload of power to run.

In the end we have only what we always had, blind speculation, only this time with a slightly different purpose - to remove theories rather than create them.

Sounds like fun! :)

Cargo Cult's gravatar


Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:42AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Switch off, press switch on, and immediately press and hold Command, Option, P and R. I thought that only applied to Macs from the Dark Ages?

Yeah, guess who woke at stupid-o'clock in the morning with some prehistoric Apple hardware fixes echoing in his brain.

Searching the Apple support site didn't find my particular problem, although it did turn up one which sounded vaguely similar in scope:




What started me off:


I now have a proper colour screen back again. Hooray. Although I was resigned to buying a new computer - maybe I can get myself a new iMac? They look quite shiny... ;-)


I'll try Windows again in the 'proper' morning - if the colours keep mucking up then I'll definitely think about replacing this laptop, although not nearly as urgently as before!

Terrapin's gravatar


Posted by Terrapin at 5:41AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Excellent news! It's always great when a problem can be worked out in under a day, without paying anything. And having been proactive about it tends to give one a sense of accomplishment too.

Here's hoping Windows works fine for you, and that nothing else pops up - computers can be fickle creatures sometimes.

Pse's gravatar

23. Relief!

Posted by Pse at 5:42AM, Thursday August 16 2007

Don't you just feel great when some seemingly unrepairable problem gets miraculously fixed by some obscure and potentially unrelated workaround? It kinda makes the exhaustion of long hours of fruitless search worth it :).
Ah, the joys of technology...

Pse's gravatar

24. ZAPped by Terrapin!

Posted by Pse at 5:45AM, Thursday August 16 2007


Yar Kramer's gravatar

25. Zaphod: "Let's get zappy!"

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:14AM, Thursday August 16 2007

k, now I have the irresistable image of a stereotypically-British baby carriage getting struck by a punt from the Gravity Gun. :(

Also, I think we'd better keep quiet about our "Isn't it great when's", in case we accidentally jynx it ...

Sanjuro357's gravatar


Posted by Sanjuro357 at 8:26AM, Thursday August 16 2007

For some reason, I'm reminded of the famous Odessa steps scene in The Battleship Potemkin. Does this make Apple a bunch of Cossacks?

FinalWarning's gravatar

27. Re: Build your own woman

Posted by FinalWarning at 1:13PM, Thursday August 16 2007

Ace and Baffled, thanks. Sometimes my dyslexia gets the better of me and what I am thinking doesn't come out quite the way I intended it to.

Tekgo_el's gravatar

28. it's the graphics card

Posted by Tekgo_el at 1:54PM, Thursday August 16 2007

the graphics card is failling and needs to be replaced. the same thing happened to me about a year ago with my powerbook. unfortunately replacing the Graphics involves replacing the entire logic/motherboard so it's a heavy repair. However it shouldn't take too long, mine too four days when they said it would take 7.

Nesretep's gravatar

29. Holy psychodelic colors Batman!

Posted by Nesretep at 2:17PM, Thursday August 16 2007

@Adam: Wow. That looks truly screwed up. I'm glad to hear that you're at least part way up a going again and by the time you read this I'm sure you'll have had a chance to test running Windows to see if that is working again as well. Here's to hoping!

@Baffled & Ace: You guys are hillarious. I was reading that post from FinalWarning quickly enough I didn't catch it until I came to Ace's post right after and re-read it. I then about died laughing.

@Yar Kramer: I thought of the exact same thing at my first glance at that title. At least something close to it anyway. It's funny how knowing that Adam and some of our other cohorts here are from the UK and such colors our perception of things, isn't it?

Baffled's gravatar

30. And so it begins...

Posted by Baffled at 3:46PM, Thursday August 16 2007


"...two German physicists claim to have forced light to overcome its own speed limit using the strange phenomenon of quantum tunnelling, in which particles summon up the energy to cross an apparently uncrossable barrier."

Sound familiar?

"The real aliens were closer than you ever thought - just around the corner, but out of reach, caught by a quirk of twentieth century physics. Half the universe, inaccessible to all but the highest energies."

And now, in an echo of Archive 4, Adam's Macbook experiences some strange "interrupts" concerning what might be seen as "unformatted data" ... where is it all leading?

"$ofut&re nokpa)t no pres}nt no li2e no deaH# no wSrldddddddddd "

Baffled's gravatar

31. Post haste

Posted by Baffled at 4:57PM, Thursday August 16 2007

In my haste, I missed out the most pertinent part of the SE quote, rather spoiling the point:

"But such a boundary could never remain unbreached."

[Oh, for an edit function]

Cargo Cult's gravatar

32. The Plan

Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:40PM, Thursday August 16 2007

Buy new iMac online (despite ATI graphics chip), wait for that to arrive, install Windows XP and Source modding stuff, send laptop off for repair.

Much cheaper than a new MacBook Pro, and also means I should have something half-decent in place in time for Bioshock...


Oh, and I'll try and finish this MINERVA thing by that game's release too. ;-)

Cargo Cult's gravatar

33. P.S.

Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:41PM, Thursday August 16 2007

The people at the Apple Store were very helpful.

They all told me to buy a PC.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

34. P.P.S.

Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:44PM, Thursday August 16 2007



(Oh, wait - I've just remembered Steam hates my credit card. I shall get in touch with Steam customer support again, and nag them until something happens...)

Yar Kramer's gravatar

35. Etc

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:34PM, Thursday August 16 2007

@Nesretep: I'm not from the UK, I was just raised on Monty Python, grew up with Douglas Adams, ascended via Terry Pratchett, and have been sort of sauntering vaguely upward through Neil Gaiman. (I am also now perfectly aware, unlike certain other Americans, that "ironic" does not mean "coincidental, or unfortunate.") *debates whether or not he really needs to add a smiley face here, then decides that we're intelligent enough here that we also know that last tidbit*

@Adam: at least it looks like you are going to finish Metastasis 3 before my 22nd birthday (which is coincidentally the release date for Half-Life 2: Episode 2).

U-Mu-La-Mah-Ri's gravatar

36. I dont wanna say

Posted by U-Mu-La-Mah-Ri at 8:01PM, Thursday August 16 2007

I told ya so

"Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:41PM, Thursday August 16 2007

The people at the Apple Store were very helpful.

They all told me to buy a PC."

but haha

Terrapin's gravatar

37. Realease this month?

Posted by Terrapin at 8:17PM, Thursday August 16 2007

Adam said he'd try to finish Minerva before Bioshock's release... that's August 24. I'm not going to call that a release date, but the fact that such a statement can even be made shows how close we are.

A word of advice to you, Adam: don't buy a PC with Vista... I dropped $120 to get Vista on my new machine, and have regretted it every day since. Still, here's hoping, once again, that everything goes smoothly.

Sortie's gravatar

38. Re: ^^

Posted by Sortie at 8:29PM, Thursday August 16 2007

Hehe. Made me chuckle. :D

wargamerROB's gravatar

39. time for a new host?

Posted by wargamerROB at 5:14AM, Friday August 17 2007

With all the downtime I keep expecting part three to be up whenever I'm able to reach the site after a period of being unable to connect.

Evan's gravatar

40. Transmission Two...

Posted by Evan at 5:26AM, Friday August 17 2007

Is it just me, or is the excitement implied in the "Second transmission has begun!" statement on the main page finally started to feel like a taunting?

pox's gravatar

41. ever the pessimist

Posted by pox at 6:14AM, Friday August 17 2007

Not to try and sound discouraging and paint an oversized target on myself, but adam...

After months of patient waiting, heavy plot discussion, and non-release, I am, sad to say, hardened and unmoved by your claimed estimate of releasing the third episode by bioshock street date, which is currently, T-minus, 13 days from this posting.

So please, please, please......


Terrapin's gravatar

42. A matter of time

Posted by Terrapin at 6:28AM, Friday August 17 2007

Ah, pessimism. Not exactly unfounded, given the ever persistent web of "soon-ness" we've heard over the months. However, take comfort in a few key facts: we know that Minerva part 3 is now in a playable state. All that's left now, I imagine, is ironing out the plot, and adding some final polish to the long-awaited final episode of the first episode. Remember that this release contains several maps, not just one. This release on its own will be larger than the first two maps, plus SE, combined (we've heard of a 3a and 4a, if you factor in the "b" versions of each, we're getting at least four maps). This doesn't factor in the HDR-related improvements to the first two maps; all in all, we're getting well over an hour of play time, maybe two, for a single play-through.

Also remember that Adam has a life, and that he does this for free. One thing I've learned here - it will be released when it's done, period. :)

Kage's gravatar

43. Did I read that correctly?

Posted by Kage at 6:47AM, Friday August 17 2007

"Oh, and I'll try and finish this MINERVA thing by that game's release too. ;-)"

I don't know if I'll be able to handle that much goodness in such a short time.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

44. How to handle that much goodness at once

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:55AM, Friday August 17 2007

1. Not be able to afford some of it.

Works like a charm for me. :)

Divals's gravatar

45. Bioshock street date...

Posted by Divals at 9:08AM, Friday August 17 2007

It's the 24th, right? So Minerva might be out within the week...!


Nesretep's gravatar

46. The question is...

Posted by Nesretep at 2:19PM, Friday August 17 2007

Which BioShock release date is Adam going by? The US Street date is 8/21 rather than 8/24. I am assuming that the 8/24 date is the one he meant though. I am just dreaming that I could possibly play sooner, because that would be great! Although, like pox, I tend to be a little pessimistic regarding the release after March's debacle. At the same time, a part of me hopes it really is released when Adam says it will be so we can all enjoy the MINERVA goodness.

Sortie's gravatar

47. ... what is the meaning of life the universe and everything.

Posted by Sortie at 3:00PM, Friday August 17 2007

He's european so I presume it's the 24th.

Terrapin's gravatar

48. Release by the 24th?

Posted by Terrapin at 5:11PM, Friday August 17 2007

So basically, the release date is the 24th, according to what Adam said. As far as I know, this is the only release date given thus far - if Adam is able to make such statements, then things must be really wrapping up nicely. Acolytes rejoice!

Divals's gravatar

49. Bwah

Posted by Divals at 5:35PM, Friday August 17 2007

Whoops, I thought it was the 24th in the US too... ^^;

Pse's gravatar

50. A happy b-day?

Posted by Pse at 5:47PM, Friday August 17 2007

I wasn't really expecting anything particularly exciting for my birthday, but I might be proved wrong =)

Baffled's gravatar

51. A massive Adam boost

Posted by Baffled at 6:16PM, Friday August 17 2007

Gamespy's review of the XBOX360 version of Bioshock includes a slightly disturbing aspect of the plot.

Apparently you have to murder 10-year-old-girls in order to harvest their genetic "fuel" which, wait for it, is called Adam! :

"... the frail little darlings known as Little Sisters ... carriers of the precious genetic fuel called Adam (required by splicers to both survive and, specifically in your case, improve)"

And get this:

"Killing a Little Sister results in a massive Adam boost, while rescuing one delivers half the amount of Adam and a heartwarming "thank you" from the now-freed girl."


"The implications of the decision to intentionally murder a ten-year-old girl for your own personal gain cannot be overstated, and BioShock will never let you forget what you've become whether it be savior or heartless (but strong beyond measure) bastard...A man chooses."

When(ever) I am able to run this game, I think I might have to content myself with a half-measure of Adam!

Baffled's gravatar

52. Everybody wants, it everybody needs it

Posted by Baffled at 6:27PM, Friday August 17 2007


Ace's gravatar

53. xbox vs. pc?

Posted by Ace at 6:43PM, Friday August 17 2007

Anybody else noticed that all the reviews have Bioshock as an xbox360 game? Many of them don't even mention it's also for PC, and those that do just have it as a little side note. Is PC gaming at an all-time low compared to consoles?
(and Baffled, have you seen the screenshots of those little girls? I doubt you'll feel too bad about killing them. Reminds me though of those things in Doom 3 that were half baby, half demon and made baby-like cooing noises. That was a little weird.)

And maybe Adam will try to get Minerva out in the next couple days? If he releases it around the 21st, or just before you losers across the atlantic get it a few days later, poor Minerva may get overlooked.

fuzz's gravatar

54. damnit

Posted by fuzz at 6:53PM, Friday August 17 2007

no way bioshock is gonna run on my system, so it's a choice between getting my car serviced, or a new PC (just like finalwarning, I roll my own, and am dyslexic).
Is there a release date for the Orange box yet? (I'm too lazy to look)

Nesretep's gravatar

55. BioShock for PC

Posted by Nesretep at 7:22PM, Friday August 17 2007

I haven't read the article, but PC Gamer (the us version) has a huge article on BioShock in the current issue. According to the cover there are some exclusive PC-only features for us PC gamers!

BioShock won't be running on my system either, so I feel for ya fuzz! I would have to shell out a whole lot of cash I don't have to get a new PC so I could play it.

Pse's gravatar

56. Evil girls!

Posted by Pse at 7:40PM, Friday August 17 2007

Somehow I don't feel bad for those little, life sucking creatures. Er...I mean those girls from the game.

Terrapin's gravatar

57. Bioshock

Posted by Terrapin at 8:49PM, Friday August 17 2007

The Little Sisters seem to be one of this game's more controversial selling points. If anyone remembers Prey, which also came out for the PC and 360 about a year back, there were several places where children were killed, in some instances, with a great deal of gore.

Being a person of somewhat perverse morals myself, I doubt I'll have any problems with Bioshock. Shooters have always been about killing to better your own position - who cares what the target is? If it were real, then yes, it's another thing entirely, but aside from the inevitable Jack Thompson media field day, Bioshock is just an awesome FPS.

And like Pse said, they're creepy little girls anyway. :)

Nesretep's gravatar

58. ...

Posted by Nesretep at 9:37PM, Friday August 17 2007

With the release of BioShock nearly upon us, I am reminded of the game EA would not allow to be made...System Shock 3. :( This would also have been a very cool game I am sure if only the folks who have been so kind as to bring us BioShock had been allowed to make it. EA holds onto the rights for the System Shock series with an iron grip, making sure that no one else can, but does nothing with them either. On the same note, if EA had tried to make SS3 it probably would have been horrendous!

Yar Kramer's gravatar

59. Orange Box

Posted by Yar Kramer at 9:39PM, Friday August 17 2007

Release date is October 9, 2007, my 22nd birthday. :D

Terrapin's gravatar

60. Five awesome FPSs in four months

Posted by Terrapin at 9:53PM, Friday August 17 2007

So we've got Bioshock (and potentially Minerva) this month, Halo 3 in September, Orange Box in October, and Crysis and Haze in November. It's a good time to be a gamer.

Nesretep's gravatar

61. Rock on with our bad gaming selves!

Posted by Nesretep at 10:16PM, Friday August 17 2007

We are in for a good 4th quarter for gaming!

cypher543's gravatar

62. *sigh*

Posted by cypher543 at 1:12AM, Saturday August 18 2007

"It's a good time to be a gamer."

But, it's a bad time to have no money.


kast's gravatar

63. Unnecessary devotion

Posted by kast at 3:35AM, Saturday August 18 2007

I may be poor, unemployed and have little to no money to throw around but I... am a GAMER. And there I might just very well be forced to get Bioshock nevertheless. That, and the Orange Box and Left4Dead. And Guitar Hero 3. And... and... and so many things.

Terrapin's gravatar

64. Re: Unnecessary devotion

Posted by Terrapin at 4:06AM, Saturday August 18 2007

Well, if you know where to look, you don't need money to get games. Torrent is your friend. :)

Still, if you don't have much in the way of expenses (and if you're unemployed and still have a computer with internet access, you're probably covered), a minimum wage job can add up quite fast. I tend to look down on people who complain about their financial situation when, if you're in 80% of the population, a solid job could be a simple resume away. Unless you have certain unfavorable circumstances, in which case, allow me to point out my first (brief) paragraph.

Still, sorry for your troubles - the material age can be rough.

macc's gravatar

65. no torrent with this one

Posted by macc at 11:41AM, Saturday August 18 2007

Bioshock is one of those games you don't download.
Btw System Shock was downloaded very much, which caused the sales to be quite low while it was a very well received game. We should give them a break with this one.

PS Orange Box European release will be october 12.

Nesretep's gravatar

66. Support the developers!

Posted by Nesretep at 4:42PM, Saturday August 18 2007

I have to agree with macc on this one. If we don't support the development of great games by actually paying for them, great games don't get made anymore. I've had my share of bootleg copies of games and other software. So I don't claim to be a saint. But if a game is really that good though, we should support those who made it by buying the game. Unlike Microsoft, most game developers (even Valve) need our support to be able to continue to deliver such awesome entertainment to us.

kast's gravatar

67. Prices (UK)

Posted by kast at 5:28PM, Saturday August 18 2007

Checked out prices for Bioshock in the UK.

~~Standard Edition~~

Play.Com - £25
HMV - £26
Steam - £32 (approx.)

~~Collector's Edition~~

HMV - £26

As much as I like Steam, I can't resist an offer like that, so I've got my copy of the Steel Tin ordered with HMV. Can't wait XP

Baffled's gravatar

68. Prices (Myworld)

Posted by Baffled at 6:19PM, Saturday August 18 2007

The minimum price that I would have to pay to play Bioshock would probably be around £500 as I would need a new comp. :-(

I am determined to wait until affordable Quadcores, at stock speeds of 3.2GHz and above are available, for maximum future proofing.

Unless I bought an Xbox that is ... *shudders*

I think the PS3 is really going to suffer for missing out on games of Bioshock's quality.

Speaking of platforms, will an imac run Bioshock? An HD 2400XT @1680x1050, yikes!

There are some partially relevant, UE3 based, benchmarks here:


It seems that Steam may lose out as well, without some kind of discount. What happened to the cost savings over the highstreet?

At least you'll be able to get the demo from Steam in a few days Kast. I shall be quietly simmering with jealousy next week *pokes Kast doll with pins*.

PyroDude's gravatar

69. Prices

Posted by PyroDude at 7:05PM, Saturday August 18 2007

There are actually 3 versions

Vanilla for 25 pound at hmv, 30 ish at other places as far as I've seen

Steel tin, which is normal in a nice case for the same price

And collectors edition which is for 40 pounds

So unfortunately, the collectors edish isn't same price as normal game ;)

Terrapin's gravatar

70. Bioshock Pricing

Posted by Terrapin at 7:35PM, Saturday August 18 2007

For me, the Steam price and the in-store price are the same, $50. And collector's editions are just a cash grab in my opinion. You're buying a game, all you really need is the game, so why pay for anything else?

Still, I tried the Xbox 360 demo last night, and found it rather underwhelming. After about five or ten minutes of exploring, shooting lightening out of my hand, and shooting at deranged mutants, it sort of felt like an endless loop of explore, fight, get new weapon / plasmid / item / objective, repeat. And from the trailers I've seen, that's about all there is. Did anyone else get the same feeling?

If I'm wrong, then they'll get my cash, but if not, then I'm back to waiting for The Orange Box.

kast's gravatar

71. Price confusion

Posted by kast at 9:36PM, Saturday August 18 2007

Gah! Three editions for PC alone?! WHY!?

@Baffled - Stop poking me! Poke, poke, poke. Is that all you do!

Nesretep's gravatar

72. The Unfortunate Truth

Posted by Nesretep at 9:50PM, Saturday August 18 2007

@kast: It's all about the MONEY, my friend, that is why there are 3 editions for the PC.

locworks's gravatar

73. plot warden

Posted by locworks at 10:19PM, Saturday August 18 2007

"locworks can tell you if I ever deviate from the intended plan..."

Sure thing. :-)

Re children and violence: Wait till you have one yourself. It spoiled whole sections of Max Payne for me. :-(

Ace's gravatar

74. Re: plot warden

Posted by Ace at 11:00PM, Saturday August 18 2007

Hello Mr. Locworks, how are you? Have I mentioned how nice you look today? That, um, black helvetica font is very becoming. Say, in case you happened to peruse our not insubstantial speculations, did anything, say, oh I don't know, strike you as being particularly not wrong?

And perhaps rather than child-like characters we need some bloated, nagging, "what have you done for me lately" saying girlfriend/wife characters to shoot at?

cypher543's gravatar

75. It's all about the story, my friend

Posted by cypher543 at 11:02PM, Saturday August 18 2007

Terrapin: What I find so immensely intriguing about the whole thing is the environment and the storyline. Sure, you are running from room to room, battling it out with mutants and Big Daddies, but while this could be boring for some games, it simply isn't in BioShock (imho). This is mostly because of how interesting the environment is. I mean, you're trapped in a decaying underwater utopia built in the 1940s (iirc). The graphics are really well done and the level design is beautiful.

There is so much you can learn, as well. There are numerous diary entries (even in the demo) that you can listen to. I found myself genuinely interested in the past lives of these crazed Rapture citizens simply because 2K did a great job with detailing virtually every aspect of the storyline. You can learn a Splicer's life story if you simply stand in the shadows and listen to him/her wander around aimlessly and talk. I often found myself wondering who exactly the person was that I just smashed in the head with a wrench. No other game has made me think about the actual individual who I am interacting with.

Anyway, my point is, I hate to see people write BioShock off as yet another run and gun FPS with some RPG elements thrown in there simply because that's all the trailers show. I'm convinced there is a whole lot more to the game that is immediately apparent from the demo. I don't want to play the game just to shoot stuff. I want to play it because I want to know exactly how this world was created and destroyed and how the story pans out in the end.

*** END OF RANT ***

Terrapin's gravatar

76. Multiple Edition Games

Posted by Terrapin at 11:09PM, Saturday August 18 2007

@ kask: Halo 3 has 3 editions, one of which is well over $100. And what do you get? A miniature Master Chief helmet and a bunch of video content and "making of" videos, most of which is already viewable on Youtube today. The helmet, which I'm guessing is just cheep plastic, costs probably $5 to make, and the "Premium Legendary Content" is just machinima content, the ViDocs we've been seeing, and some other stuff, which probably cost less to make than the DVDs it will be printed on.

And don't get me started on Windows Vista: Basic, Premium, Business, and Ultimate, plus Starter, Enterprise, and Tablet PC editions, along with full, upgrade, and OEM editions of each. I guess these days the only way a company like Microsoft can make money is to confuse us, and then rob us blind by making us pay for stuff that we either don't need, or can emulate just fine with other, free third-party programs.

That's why I'm so thankful for people like Adam. They work hard to produce something that's free, simple, and incredibly awesome. No Super-Ultimate-Premium-Legendary-MINERVAtastic Edition - just good, fun gaming.

Terrapin's gravatar

77. Re: It's all about the story, my friend

Posted by Terrapin at 11:31PM, Saturday August 18 2007

Sorry, cypher543, I missed your post while I was writing mine. Anyway, I didn't really catch much of a plot line in the demo. The mystery all felt so superficial and overdone that it kind of lost its effect. The mysterious person communicating with you (Atlas, I think was his name) was a nice touch, but like I said, I was soon left thinking, "Oh, look, another crazed mutant. Zap, hit with wrench, move on. More of them. Zap, zap, zap, whack, whack, whack."

Then I found the flame-thrower plasmid. My spirits immediately lifted, until I realized that all it did was stun enemies AND kill them. Not exactly revolutionary. As for diaries, I found one (I think). Again, a nice touch. At that point, I honestly expected some kind of new enemy, maybe something where I would have to use plasmids creatively to bring down a Big Daddy, or even something that could shoot back. But no, I get more crazed mutants.

I think there were two types of enemies the whole time, two plasmids, and two guns. Yes, I'll admit, the story was very nice, very atmospheric, and very well polished (best water effects ever), but it all felt like it was culminating to something, something that never happened. This left the whole setting very disconnected and generally empty.

If 2K games can't bother to make a better demo, why should they get my money? Before I shell out $50, I want to know that there's more than just one insane zombie-like mutant after the next. I want to know that plasmids do more than make my hand glow and shoot out various forms of energy. I want to know that this is more than a classic story of a utopia turned dystopic. I want to know that my character is important, that I'm going to do something other than rescue some guy's family.

There are so many things I want to know, and the demo tells me none of them. And if they can't be bothered to tell me that this is more than just another shooter by showing me something really NEW (and no, casting spells that have been in RPGs for decades doesn't count), then I'm sorry, but I'll hold on to my money.


Holy Socks's gravatar

78. Bioshock and Halo 3

Posted by Holy Socks at 11:33PM, Saturday August 18 2007

I loved the Bioshock Demo (360 for me), and I cant wait tll i get my hands on the full version, the atmosphere was what really did it for me in the demo; but I think it will be the moral questions raised with the killing of the little sisters that im anticipating the most for the full game. (I'm not twisted...Honest)

As for Halo 3, I just ordered my copy today, going for the limited edition. I can see why people would say these things are a rip off, because they are, but if your a big fan of a specific game then I dont see anything wrong with paying for a bit of extra content.

Ace's gravatar

79. girlfriend/wife character

Posted by Ace at 11:37PM, Saturday August 18 2007

Sorry, if I may, just thought of a good plot for half-life 5: ten years after Gordon and Alyx get married...she ain't so cute no more...it's no longer fun to stare at her computer generated ass...she has now realized the fact the Gordon' doesn't speak is unusual and takes offense that he still hasn't called her pretty...or god forbid, said I love you...she's making his life a living hell...your goal: kill the bitch!!!

Terrapin's gravatar

80. Alyx

Posted by Terrapin at 12:18AM, Sunday August 19 2007

I'm 90% sure that Alyx is going to die in Ep2. Remember when Adam represented Ep2's ending as :-( ? Well, I'm guessing Alyx dies, which is what pisses off Dog, which is why he goes nuts and kills a Strider. After all, what better way for Gman to get revenge than to kill Gordon's girlfriend?

Then again, they did spend all of Ep1 developing her character. This could be a double edged sword, as it makes her (potential) death all the more emotional, but she is also the best sidekick of all time, and one of the most-liked characters in the series. So really, we have no idea what Valve will do. Until we get our hands on the the Black/Orange box, that is (yes, I know the Black Box was canceled for retail, but you will still be able to get it online).

Ace's gravatar

81. I try

Posted by Ace at 12:25AM, Sunday August 19 2007

it was a , um, er,,.. I was trying to ..... A joke, that's what the idea was. Oh well..

Terrapin's gravatar

82. Humor

Posted by Terrapin at 12:32AM, Sunday August 19 2007

Hmm... my overly deep analysis was supposed to be humorous relative to the non-serious content you posted, thus being both funny, and insightful.

It was a funny idea... I guess I just fail at faux-serious humor.

Ace's gravatar

83. I see

Posted by Ace at 12:37AM, Sunday August 19 2007

Ah, I see. If I promise to laugh at yours, do you promise to laugh at mine?

Terrapin's gravatar

84. Minerva before Bioshock?

Posted by Terrapin at 1:07AM, Sunday August 19 2007

@ ace: well, I already did laugh at your joke... the idea of Gordon giving Alyx the silent treatment for ten years is classic humor.

Oh, and Adam... if you should happen to read this, could you tell us you're still on track to "finish this MINERVA thing by [Bioshock]'s release"? Will we be playing M3 this month? Any hint of a release date would be nice...

Stil's gravatar

85. RE: Orange box release date

Posted by Stil at 1:28AM, Sunday August 19 2007

"Release date is October 9, 2007, my 22nd birthday. :D"

O_O you serious? release date is october 9th?

That is actually my Birthday... I can't tell if this rocks... or sucks.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

86. Re: Stil

Posted by Yar Kramer at 2:08AM, Sunday August 19 2007

Well, if you want it for your birthday that badly, you can always ask for your parents for money specifically set aside to buy it ...

Baffled's gravatar

87. Comment-of-the-week

Posted by Baffled at 2:49AM, Sunday August 19 2007

"I often found myself wondering who exactly the person was that I just smashed in the head with a wrench." [cypher543]

I can't quite decide whether this sentence is evidence that a gamer's conscience is undamaged by video-game violence, or evidence of the opposite ;-).

@Ace: I'm a little disturbed by your view of long-term relationships, but good work in trying to charm plot hints out of locworks. Let's hope it works. *fingers crossed*

cypher543's gravatar

88. Haven't you seen the videos?

Posted by cypher543 at 3:34AM, Sunday August 19 2007

Terrapin: Of course there's more to BioShock than that! Haven't you seen the trailers or any of the gameplay videos? There is so much you can do with setting traps and such. I'll probably play each sequence more than once, just because everything is so dynamic.

As for not fighting a Big Daddy in the demo, I was a little disappointed with that, as well. But, I'm sure 2K left it out for a very good reason. Mainly, I think the whole sequence after you kill a Big Daddy is supposed to be a surprise (like, what exactly happens if you kill a Little Sister or let her go). I bet they didn't want to drop any hints during the demo, so they just cut the entire thing. Though, the part where the Big Daddy slammed the Splicer against the wall and punched the crap out of him pretty much made me forget about being disappointed. :P

Personally, I thought the demo was very well done and it certainly made me want to buy the game. I'm not trying to argue or anything, but I just find it odd that some people don't find the game intriguing.

Terrapin's gravatar

89. Agreeing to disagree

Posted by Terrapin at 3:46AM, Sunday August 19 2007

That's pretty much all we can do here, cypher543. I remain unconvinced that it's anything more than a standard shooter with a few non-standard weapons, while you believe the opposite; I'm not going to try further to convince you otherwise. But yes, having the Big Daddy pulverize the splicer was nice to see... too bad we have to pay to see how we'd fare in the same situation. :)

Oh, and locworks, please don't give us any definitive spoilers, at least not where one can access them openly. I'm already 99.9% sure that one of my theories is right, due to the phraseology of Adam's original post, so I want to keep the other secrets for whenever M3 is finally released. But if you want to drop a few hints about Chronoclasm, please do. Please, please, please do, because another year of theories until C1 could easily drive us insane. And a pack of insane acolytes is a very dangerous thing...

Anyway, here's hoping (for the nth time) for a speedy release!

Ace's gravatar

90. Re: Comment-of-the-week

Posted by Ace at 7:59AM, Sunday August 19 2007

An excellent and robust choice for comment of the week there Baffled, I must admit to not at first noticing all of it's nuances and implications. (and of course kudos to cypher543 for the comment.) I'm not sure what to make of it either, except that perhaps we should keep cypher543 away from wrenches.
And yes, my mother isn't too thrilled with my views on long-term relationships either. (although my father, having been left by said mother some time ago, may feel differently.) I will admit though that "kill the bitch" may have been a bit much. (though I did say TEN years AFTER marriage. I mean come on, there's long term and then there's eternal purgatory.)
And dammit turtleboy, stop undermining my efforts with locworks!
(and btw, a couple crackpot thoughts have been added to the previous thread, in case anyone hadn't noticed and had anything else to get out of their systems...)

Impatient's gravatar

91. LOL!?!?!

Posted by Impatient at 3:31PM, Sunday August 19 2007

You think we`ll get M. this year??

locworks's gravatar

92. alas, no spoilers from Warsaw....

Posted by locworks at 4:31PM, Sunday August 19 2007

...as there are few things I would hate to lose more than Adam's trust. I won't prevent you either from enjoying at your own pace and in _due_ time the finale of one of the best stories written for HL and HL2.

Regarding your speculations: your collective imagination and creativity fed by thousands of books, games, movies, lectures and your personal experiences is the equivalent of a giant brain storming session which would easily be integrated into an apocryphal corpus of stories and adventure hooks for the benefit of SP mappers and modders "en mal d'inspiration".

Baffled's gravatar

93. The Warsaw Pact ( of silence )

Posted by Baffled at 6:01PM, Sunday August 19 2007

A translation from the original Polish version:

"I'm not telling you lot anything, but I suggest that you donate your derivative ramblings to those even more clueless than you." :-O

Ace's gravatar

94. Warsaw pact..

Posted by Ace at 6:32PM, Sunday August 19 2007

how did we break the warsaw pact last time? I think there's some walls that need to come down somewhere, we require a Russian with a big birthmark, and I'm not sure, but I think we need to get Vaclav Havel involved somehow....

Terrapin's gravatar

95. Spoilers...

Posted by Terrapin at 7:11AM, Monday August 20 2007

To be fair, I never said (or at least never meant to say) we shouldn't have any spoilers at all. What I meant to say was that no one with insider info should post "MINERVA IS ELI'S WIFE!!! SHE DIDN'T ACTUALLY DIE!!!". If locworks wants to , oh, I don't know, post some random hexadecimal characters that happen to translate to a Metastasis 3 transcript when decoded, that's fine by me.

Oh, and Ace, you get the new comment of the week (it's Monday in my time zone) for calling me turtleboy. I honestly can't remember laughing that hard before. Well played. :)

Stil's gravatar

96. Revelations

Posted by Stil at 12:38PM, Monday August 20 2007

Oh My God... she's Eli's wife?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

97. Pas encore expédiée

Posted by Cargo Cult at 5:17PM, Monday August 20 2007

Délai estimé d'expédition: 23 Aou, 2007 - 27 Aou, 2007
Délai estimé de livraison: 29 Aou, 2007 - 03 Sep, 2007

How the blinking hector does it take that long to deliver it? Yes, I went for the marginally faster graphics and processor one (the 2600 HD, or whatever it is - I've still got plans to build a monster gaming PC at some vague point in the future) but still...

I did lots of work on metastasis_4b over the weekend, but it's taken to crashing at key points again - even set to lesser graphics. I'll try to figure out what's causing it, anyway.

The pre-Bioshock release is highly unlikely now (AAAARGH), but my current, still unrealistic aim is September 3rd. Yep, the 2nd anniversary of the release of the first episode. Sodding hell, it's taken ages... ;-)

Sortie's gravatar

98. ^^

Posted by Sortie at 5:17PM, Monday August 20 2007

That's original.

Sortie's gravatar

99. September 3rd

Posted by Sortie at 5:28PM, Monday August 20 2007


Estimated time of forwarding: 23 Aou, 2007 - 27 Aou, 2007
Estimated Time of delivery: 29 Aou, 2007 - 03 Sep, 2007

Good to hear some real dates, 3 sep it's just great. So close I can almost taste it. :D

Baffled's gravatar

100. Bioshocked to the core!

Posted by Baffled at 6:31PM, Monday August 20 2007

Well, we didn't see that coming, did we? What a shocker! ;-)

Nevermind Adam, the only eyebrow-raising aspect of this latest hiccup is that you dared to announce a deadline for release. Tut, tut, surely you know better than to do that again...oh, wait...

Yar Kramer's gravatar

101. Pah

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:58PM, Monday August 20 2007

I'm holding out on the ability to afford Bioshock AND Ep 2. Though the former might have to wait for a "hardc0re gaming rig" type thingamajig.

Nesretep's gravatar

102. (no subject)

Posted by Nesretep at 8:00PM, Monday August 20 2007

I tend to agree with Baffled on this release date thing. Stop jinxing things by announcing another release date, Adam! Take look back through the perfect vision of hindsight and see what happened LAST time we went throwing about release dates almost SIX MONTHS ago now!

Whew! Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I hope you are able to easily get the bugs fixed so we can all enjoy your wonderful creation.

Divals's gravatar

103. Bioshock system requirements

Posted by Divals at 9:19PM, Monday August 20 2007

The requirements for Bioshock aren't all that intense... The PC I built for school a year and a half ago should comfortably handle the recommended requirements.

Anschluss's gravatar

104. Needling

Posted by Anschluss at 9:25PM, Monday August 20 2007

I have a needling and completely irrelevant questing: Those two headcrab rockets in the floor of the big room towards the end of M2-where did they come from and why are they there? Did they just fall off the wall or did the combine want the added security of headcrabs running around? If so, were the combine so lazy as to just drop them into that perfectly good floor from the top of the walkway?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

105. They fell off

Posted by Cargo Cult at 9:51PM, Monday August 20 2007

The idea was that there was some sort of headcrab transport thingy which failed, dropping some of the canisters downwards - and getting them to open prematurely.

I don't think I had enough space to fit any canisters propped up against the walls on the walkway, and didn't get round to building some sort of actively wibbling conveyor like further up in the complex - I was bouncing against the entity count limits by then, anyway.

But now you know.

(Talking about entity counts - I don't think metastasis_3 has *any* decorative ropes adorning the place. Not noticeable, but it's one of the reasons for the high entity count in metastasis_2. Used properly, they look so ... Combine!)

Ace's gravatar

106. simple enough

Posted by Ace at 10:39PM, Monday August 20 2007

Well that was straightforward. Don't suppose there's a straight answer in the cards for my previous question about the upside down map of earth in Someplace Else? I keep thinking it must mean something, if a human put it there, why would it be upside down? I'd believe an Alien or some such might put it upside down since up/down north/south is artibrary, but then it must have some meaning, yes? Ah well, don't mean to be demanding.

Lord_Baz's gravatar

107. Bioshawk

Posted by Lord_Baz at 3:09PM, Thursday August 23 2007

The thing with Bioshock and getting a proper PC release, is well those minimum system requirements are genuine.

I'm currently running an AMD64 3000+, 6600GT and 1GB of RAM and I was playing Bioshock with all settings except DX10 enabled and Aside from one slowdown, it ran fantastically well. I ran it in XP64 as well, I was having some sound issues in vista and some keyboard lag as well, hence booting into XP64.

Terrapin; Quick question. Did you play Deus Ex/System Shock at all? Bioshock owes alot of it's existance to those games. The demo was also presented in a way to give you a very small taste of what's to come.

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